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DeWitt gears up to host RAGBRAI riders Friday

Dewitt has been a part of the RAGBRAI route before, but will be a host city for the first time ever Friday
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 1:54 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 2:56 PM CDT
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DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) - DeWitt has known it would be a part of that Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, since November. After months of planning, Dewitt Chamber & Development Company’s Molly Goettsch compares the preparation to a wedding.

“It kind of reminds me of planning a wedding, because you plan so much and you put so much detail and effort and reaching out to people and getting other ideas, and then it’s one day,” Goettsch said.

First Congregational United Church of Christ’s Mary Malcom said she’s been preparing for months, as the church is set to provide hundreds of meals to some of the thousands of riders Saturday morning.

“We started four months ago when we first knew they were coming in,” Malcom said, “Saturday morning we’re making breakfast for 200 people, with my grandmother’s sticky rolls and an egg-cheese casserole, with your choice of ham or tofu.”

Pastor Chris Marlin-Warfield sees RAGBRAI as an opportunity for the community to reunite with one another.

“Having the chance to get everybody to just do something and come in and serve has really been a relief, really an opportunity to reconnect,” Marlin-Warfield said.

Town members are excited for the opportunity, with the town’s slogan this year being “Can you handle DeWitt?”

“We have a really vibrant downtown, full of restaurants and shops and they’ve all enthusiastically said ‘let’s do it,’” DeWitt Chamber & Development Company’s Angela Rheingans “There’s a lot, can you handle it? And that’s where I think it really settled in that it had a lot of different meanings.”

“DeWitt is a wonderful place, we don’t have to spiffy anything up, we already are spiffy, we don’t have to do anything special, we do special every day,” Malcom said.

This year’s overnight stops include (in chronological order) Le Mars, Sac City, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Anamosa, Dewitt, and then riders are set to dip their tires in the Mississippi River in Clinton on Saturday.

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